It's a rough month in Washington. We're coming up to Thanksgiving and it's a push to find something to be thankful for. A meaningful health-care bill might just do it, as might a way ahead in Afghanistan, or the closing of Guantanamo Bay.
Failing these things, what else would go well with turkey and pumpkin pie? The Obamas' Olympic campaign can be seen as an attempt to find a tangible victory for America to focus on. It failed. Jobs, of course, are always a popular family topic, but it's going to take a while for the economic stimulus to kick in. So how 'bout simply saying a muted but sincere 'Thank you, God' for an honest and smart president who's trying to move ahead by untangling the 'fubar' mess left by the crooks, dummies and wackos who ruled Washington for eight long years.
America's honeymoon with the president is apparently over. The resistance to health-care reform by disingenuous Democrats with vested interests works in combination with Republican efforts to discredit Obama and label him a 'weak leader' so the momentum of his election victory is stalling. Apparently, Gen. Stanley McChrystal understands this. The general's cynical attempt to manipulate the outcome of Obama's Afghanistan policy by leaking his report to the media is based on a clear assessment that McChrystal's Commander-in-Chief is now very vulnerable.
Surrounded by so many ruthless s.o.b.'s, newbie Obama needs to steer a careful course through this complex passage where so many rocks meet the pounding surf. A wrong move in the wars, the economy, or in health-care will have disastrous consequences that will rattle down the coming decades like a tin can bouncing down a very long stairwell.
No one doubts Obama's ability or sincerity. Unlike the lesser Bush, Dick Cheney or Sarah Palin, Obama is not openly mocked on Saturday Night Live. But they have now begun to satirize him as a do-nothing president.
Apparently, Obama's push to pass health-care reforms before the recess was a prescient appreciation of American political reality. Soon enough, as Shakespeare observed, the blush goes off any rose. Everything "holds in perfection but a single moment." Obama needs a clear win on something very soon in order to re-energize Americans and refocus them for the difficult and varied tasks that lie ahead during the next three years of what may prove to be America's most difficult presidency.
Meanwhile, Americans themselves need to remember why they elected this man, an exceptional candidate for very troubled times, a man who is not content to do 'the easy thing'. Around the dinner table, remind yourselves how hard and how various are the tasks set before him and what the consequences are if he fails.
There are plenty of volunteers, but who else could do the job?